New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., the Toyota-General Motors joint venture in Fremont, Calif., was a learning opportunity for both companies. GM saw it as a training ground for North American managers who would discover how to use the Toyota Production System. Toyota viewed it as a safe spot where Japanese managers could gain initial exposure to the global auto industry.
Here are some of the people who worked at NUMMI, and where they went later.
- John Arle - was NUMMI's general manager of general affairs. Now treasurer of Delphi Corp.
- Gary Convis - hired from Ford as NUMMI's vice president of manufacturing. Later oversaw North American manufacturing for Toyota from Kentucky. Now retired, heads a North American self-reliance program from an office at NUMMI.
- Dennis Cuneo - helped resolve regulatory issues as NUMMI vice president before becoming Toyota's North American senior vice president in charge of external affairs and government relations. Now back at his Washington law firm, continues to assist in locating future North American plant sites for Toyota and its affiliated companies.
- Nate Furuta - first Japanese manager on site at NUMMI. Later assignments took him to Georgetown and Erlanger, Ky., and Toyota of Europe. Now CEO of Toyota's U.S. interiors supplier, Toyota Boshoku America Inc.
- Bob Hendry - NUMMI's general manager of general affairs, then ran Saab and became chairman of GM's Opel unit in Europe.
- Mark Hogan - general manager of general affairs at NUMMI, later ran GM's Small Car Group, and is now president of Magna International.
- Kosuke Ikebuchi - went from vice president at NUMMI to a senior managing director's role at Toyota Motor Corp. Became vice chairman of the board.
- Koichiro Noguchi - NUMMI's general manager of purchasing, went on to oversee Toyota's international purchasing activity as a managing director.
- Alan Perriton - helped Toyota identify a U.S. supply chain at NUMMI as a GM purchasing manager. Later created the Saturn supply chain, and retired from GM as head of its global strategic alliances.
- Steve St. Angelo - volunteered for NUMMI assembly duty twice as a GM manager, then eventually ran GM operations in Mexico. Now CEO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc.
- Harvey Thomas - ran NUMMI's paint shop. Later launched Saturn's second U.S. plant in Wilmington, Del. Now runs GM's multibillion-dollar Spring Hill, Tenn., operation.
- Akio Toyoda - was a NUMMI general manager and remains a NUMMI director. The family scion is an executive vice president in Japan and chairman of Toyota's Chinese stamping die supplier, Toyota FAW (Tianjin) Dies Co.
- Tatsuro Toyoda - NUMMI's first president. The Toyoda family member then returned to Japan, where he became president of Toyota.
- Susumu Uchikawa - was brought in to prepare NUMMI for production. Returned to Japan and rose to chairman of Toyota's critical body supplier, Kanto Auto Works.